by Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor
May 13, 2008
Perhaps it began before 1948, when Israel and
Palestine were partitioned by the UN into two separate but equal states.
Perhaps the nuclear notion occurred to David Ben-Gurion and friends in 1945,
as they observed two atomic bombs dropped by the US on the Empire of Japan
(mostly civilian populations) to end WW II. In fact, the nuclear solution
brought about an immediate surrender.
In 1948, many highly-skilled Jewish scientists who came to Palestine during
the 1930s and 1940s, in particular Dr. Ernst David Bergman, who became the
director of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission and founder of his new
nation’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons, joined in support of
Ben-Gurion. Those scientists scoured the Negev Desert for uranium deposits
on orders from the Israeli Ministry of Defense. By 1950, low-grade deposits
near Beersheba and Sidon were found, and their discoverers worked on a low
power system of heavy water production.
After all, Israel, having created itself as a Jewish island in a sea of
angry Arabs, must have been impressed by the US bombs. Here was a way for
David to slay Goliath, a nuclear slingshot, so powerful that it dared any
new Holocaust seekers to attempt another. That nuclear stone, properly
aimed, powered and fired, would neutralize the would-be attackers in their
own Holocaust, if necessary.
Thus began the tyranny of the rogue nuclear
power while the Goliaths of America and Russia were nuclear arming
themselves to the teeth.
In fact, as US Army Lt. Col. Warner D. Farr, retired, tells us of
this in his must-read 27-page history of Israel’s Nuclear Weapons,
Third Temple’s Holy of Holies,
“As payment for Israeli participation in the
Suez Crisis of 1956, France provided nuclear expertise and constructed a
reactor complex for Israel at Dimona (Beersheba) capable of large-scale
plutonium production and reprocessing. The United States discovered the
facility in 1958 and it was a subject of continual discussions between
American presidents and Israeli prime ministers.”
A bit of war guilt for the Nazi and Vichy
governments was mixed in as well.
As Farr reports,
“Israel used delay and deception to at first
keep the United States at bay, and later used the nuclear option as a
bargaining chip for a consistent American conventional arms supply.
After French disengagement in the early 1960s, Israel progressed on its
own, including through several covert operations, to project completion.
Before the 1967 Six-Day War, they felt their nuclear facility threatened
and reportedly assembled several nuclear devices. By the 1973 Yom Kippur
War, Israel had a number of sophisticated nuclear bombs, deployed them,
and considered using them. The Arabs may have limited their war aims
because of their knowledge of the Israeli Nuclear weapons. . . ."
And so it goes.
With one of the world’s largest nuclear facilities, the actual reactor
nested in a deeply set basement, not available for “nuclear opacity,” Israel
was on its way to becoming one of the world’s larger nuclear powers and
skirting observation. Israel leadership must have breathed a sigh of relief
at this Pandora’s Box gifted them, as if from heaven.
Dr. Bergmann in fact continued to work closely
with the newly created Weizman Institute of Science from 1949 on. In fact,
they would contribute to France’s development of nuclear weapons, as well,
to help it catch up with the US, USSR, UK, and Canada.
Of course, by 1958, the Dimona plant, alternately called a manganese and/or
textile plant, was photographed by US U-2 spy planes and identified as a
likely site of a reactor complex. The French, swarming like ants about the
complex, were hard to hide as well in Beersheba, so much so that Charles DeGaulle, France’s president, wanted a promise from Israel not to make
nuclear weapons, and to announce the “project” to the world.
Before Israel did that, they were preempted by
the US State Department announcing the secret plant. Even the NY Times
announced on December 21, 1960 that Ben-Gurion was building a 24-megawatt
reactor “for peaceful purposes.” Sure it was.
This led to a strain in relations between the two nations, with inspections
beginning in 1962 until 1969. In fact, the US inspectors only saw the
buildings above ground, not the many levels underground. The above ground
areas had simulated control rooms.
Access to the underground plutonium reprocessing
plant was kept so secret that elevator entrances to it were actually bricked
over, a highly conscious deception that would cause a country like Iran
today a great deal of flak, to say the least. In fact, Ben-Gurion continued
to talk about peaceful uses of the plant as it sunk deeper into making
nuclear weapons. This as Israel dodged the 50’s and 60’s NATO and US nuclear
The French continued to partner, hand in hand, sharing even nuclear tests
and data, the French reportedly reshipping reprocessed plutonium back to
Israel as payback for scientific assistance.
Cutting through this bizarre web (all of which you should read in
article), the French continued work with Israel at Dimona, the sole purpose
being to use the underground processing plant for one use, and one use only,
In fact, for accidentally passing into Dimona’s
airspace, Israel shot down one of its own Mirage fighters during the Six-Day
War and a Libyan airliner in 1973, with 104 passengers on board, when it
strayed over the Sinai. Extra heavy water to run the reactor at a higher
rate was provided not only by France, but Norway, while the US provided the
uranium for “Operation Plumbat.”
After the '67 war, France cut off uranium supplies to Israel; supplies had
come from former French colonies, Gabon, the infamous Niger (as in
yellowcake), and the Central African Republic. Small quantities of uranium
came from Israel’s Negev phosphate mines, while it bought quantities from
Argentina and South Africa.
The West Germans had a front company for high
seas transfer, which delivered 200 tons of yellowcake, delivered by the
smugglers in 560 sealed oil drums labeled “Plumbat,” which means lead. How
clever. The complicity of these nations remained underground as well, so as
not anger the Soviets and Arabs. MOSSAD info on former Nazi then German
officials helped with motivation.
The first extraction of plutonium, under Prime Minister Levi Eshkol,
occurred in 1965. Unfortunately by that time, the Egyptian Air Force had overflown Dimona and most probably recognized the presence of a nuclear
reactor. Additionally, 50 American HAWK anti-aircraft missiles half-ringed
the plant. Yet Israel consider Egyptian overflights of May 16, 1967, as
possible pre-strike reconnaissance, one source listing the flights as trip
wires that drove Israel to war.
Unfortunately, if one has powerful weapons the
impulse is to use or threaten to use them, even if cause needs to be
fabricated. Fortunately, Nasser vetoed an Egyptian military plan to attack
Dimona at the start of any war. Israel put together two nuclear bombs and 10
days later went to war. The nuclear option was being played out.
And so it went, through the 60s. Lyndon Johnson was more willing than John
Kennedy to look the other way, even as Israel pressed him for A-4E Skyhawks
first and F-4E Phantoms later, with an agreement not to use them to deliver
nuclear weapons. Sure. The F-4s were delivered on September 5, 1969, with
their nuclear capable hardware intact. So it goes. Israel and the world dig
themselves deeper into a nuclear hole. See the
Farr article for complete
The next section, from 1974-1999, is called
Bringing the Bomb up the Basement Stairs, that is into artillery pieces
to fire nuclear shells.
By 1976, even the CIA believed that the Israelis were using plutonium from
Dimona and had 10 to 20 nuclear weapons available.
In 1985, whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu
reported the number of nuclear fission bombs at 200 or more, with boosted
devices, neutron bombs, F-16 deliverable warheads and Jericho warheads.
“The Vanunu photos show a sophistication
that inferred to the requirement for testing,” comments Farr.
Indian Ocean tests?
On September 22, 1979, a bright familiar flash in the south Indian Ocean was
seen by an American satellite. It was believed to be a South Africa-Israel
joint nuclear test.
It was, as Farr reports,
“according to some, the third test of a
neutron bomb. The first two were hidden in clouds to fool the satellite
and the third was an accident - the weather cleared.”
Though experts differ on these tests, other
writers report that scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory believed it
to have been a nuclear explosion. This as a presidential panel decided
Controversy over possible nuclear testing continues until this day.
1998, Farr reports,
“a Member of the Knesset accused the government of an
underground test near Eilat on May 28, 1998. Egyptian ‘nuclear experts’ have
made similar charges. The Israeli government hotly denied the claims.”
In addition, the Israelis have been interested in American nuclear weapons
development data, especially from US intelligence.
Farr tells us,
“American-born Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard obtained satellite-imaging data
of the Soviet Union, allowing Israel to target accurately Soviet Cities
[after discovering they, Israel, were on a Soviet target list]. This showed Israel’s intention to use its
nuclear arsenal as a deterrent political lever, or retaliatory capability
against the Soviet Union itself.
“Israel also used American satellite imagery
to plan the 7 June 1981 attack on the Tammuz-1 reactor at Osiraq, Iraq.
This daring attack, carried out by eight F-16’s accompanied by six
F-15’s punched a hole in the concrete reactor dome before the reactor
began operation (and just days before an Israeli election)... The blasts
shred the reactor and blew out the dome foundations, causing it to
collapse on the rubble. This was the first attack on a nuclear reactor.”
So Israel, US, Russia, France, et al, where do
we go from here?
Perhaps to Gordon Thomas, reporting at Globe Intel in his article,
and the Russian Mafia Plutonium Connection, 11/21/03.
Here is a sample. You
can read the rest . . .
“Scientists at the European Trans-Uranium
Institute at Karlsruhe in Germany, tracking the movements of all
fissionable material from the former Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal,
have raised suspicions that Mossad has purchased some of the material to
allegedly stop it falling into the hands of Islamic and other terror
“But there is also the real possibility that Israel has gone into the
nuclear black market to buy fissionable material to bolster its own huge
nuclear arsenal. Israel already has one of the world's largest arsenals
- more than capable of decimating all its Arab neighbors. Its 200
nuclear bombs and missiles are stockpiled in the Negev desert.
“The suspicion that Israel has also started to buy material stolen from
the former Soviet Union surfaced a year ago when a quantity of
Uranium-235 was found in the Paris apartment of three criminals known to
broker arms deals with terror groups like al-Qaeda... ."
So, now we have a Wild East situation,
with Israel purchasing nuclear material supposedly to stop it from
falling into the hands of Al-Qaeda.
It would seem said material is no safer in
Israel’s hands than in those of the fictional Al-Qaeda, a CIA
brand name for terror, originally created, funded, and armed to fight the
Russians in 1979 in Afghanistan. Its name was used again in 2001 to describe
the patsies for 9/11, those 19 Muslim characters whose presence on the four
ill-fated airliners has never been fully validated.
This brings us full circle to
Israel’s own participation in 9/11, a story for another day, but
a very real story.
I have not written this article to condemn Israel on its 60th anniversary as
a quasi-legal state, quasi to question
legitimacy to create it, and
quasi for Israel’s subsequent actions to ingest and destroy the
Palestinians. My aim is to point out Israel’s own hypocrisy regarding Iran’s
possible possession of nuclear capability not just for peacetime power.
Beyond the Cold War, it is Israel that has
historically been edging us into a worldwide nuclear conflagration; and
doing so since 2001 with the hegemonic boobs presently running the USA and
supporting Israel’s misguided efforts with billions of dollars of aid for
arms in the hope that it will keep the Arab world intimidated and give us
I also understand the motivation of the Israeli founders in seeking a
nuclear option as a deterrent to another Holocaust. But they have created
now what Seymour Hirsch noted as “The Samson Option,” which is to bring down
the whole world on our heads to prevent what seems a self-fulfilling
prophecy of Holocaust.
As a rogue nation, under its own impetus, Israel should invoke its Talmudic
and biblical conscience, take a breath, and rethink where they are, who they
are, what they are doing, and to whom. The survival of Israel’s Zionist
State of Mind should not be contingent on the potential destruction of the
world. That is as simply, as compassionately, as reasonably as I can state
it. After my voice, will come voices far more strident and ugly, as you can
Put aside your arms and put aside your bunker
mentality to talk peacefully.